Did Brett Kavanaugh lie about his environmental record?
Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court nominee accused of sexual assault by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, wants you to know that, at the time of the alleged incident, he was just an average teenage virgin. His pastimes included “hanging out and having some beers” with his buddies, OK? In normal amounts, allegedly. And you know what? It’s difficult to definitively prove that his version of events isn’t true.
What we do have a record of, however, is how Kavanaugh has voted on the environment. “In some cases, I’ve ruled against environmentalists’ interests, and in many cases I’ve ruled for environmentalists’ interests,” he testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 5. So why did one law professor call him the “Voldemort” of environmental law?
Unfortunately for lovers of the truth and also planet Earth, the honorable judge may have mischaracterized his environmental credentials, as the Intercept reports. Let us please turn to the receipts.
- During that testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Kavanaugh named Natural Resources Defense Council v. EPA as an example of a time he upheld environmental regulations. As Sharon Lerner wrote in the Intercept, he actually ruled against three out of four of the challenges brought by environment groups in that case. And the one point he sided with environmentalists on wasn’t “especially environmental,” an NRDC senior attorney told Lerner.
- But what of his opinions? Did the judge pen fiery defenses of the environment during his tenure? Not really. An Earthjustice analysis found that, when deciding 26 EPA-related cases, Kavanaugh sided with the deregulation camp 89 percent of the time.
- Kavanaugh, unlike most normal human beings, doesn’t seem to have a soft spot for nature’s majestic fauna. An analysis from the Center for Biological Diversity shows that Kavanaugh voted against wildlife 96 percent of the time. Do all judges just hate animals? Nope! That same analysis shows conservative judge David Sentelle voted against animals 57 percent of the time, and moderate judge Merrick Garland voted against them 46 percent of the time.
- The last nail in Kavanaugh’s environmental coffin comes from President Trump himself, who sent out an email this summer praising the Supreme Court nominee for overruling federal regulators “75 times on cases involving clean air, consumer protections, net neutrality and other issues.”
For someone who has attended so many sports games, this former football bro is pretty bad at keeping score. Maybe all the beverages he’s consumed in his lifetime have clouded his ability to remember his environmental voting record.